I am a 58 yr old overweight female Iam 5'5" and235 lbs I had a PLIF at L4-L5 and L5-S1 on July 26th. If you need the surgery I did not find being heavy hurt my recovery at all I was up the next day and out of the hospital in 3 days. Its just the long term recovery that has been bad for me I take 75mg of lyrica 4 times a day 40mg of elavil a day for nerve pain in my hips and down both legs. I had the surgery because there was nothing left between the 2 discs and it was pressing on the nerves and causing extreme pain in my right leg. Now I have pain in both.I also take vicodin and percocet for the pain. I feel the surgery was needed so there was not further damage done to the nerves. I still need a cane I am now qualified for total disability social security since i am unable to work. I still use a cane cannot walk great distance or sit for long periods of time. I really think losing a lot of weight will help me take the pressure off the nerves in my back but like you say everything they give you causes weight gain. I am now in a water exercise program for people post surgery, arthritis, etc. It is so nice to walk in water and not feel pain. I also am trying to not eat fattening foods since I have an appointment April 24th to see a Dr. about a new proceedure called a LAP BAND where they tie off a portion of your stomache and put you on a diet. The weight loss is not as fast as gastric bypass but it is a whole lot safer. I find it very frustrating to not be able to do things and have to take medicine that makes you gain and then have the Dr look at you and say "All you need to do is lose weight" Yea like I dont know that. I do think if you can lose weight it will definatly help if not now then later in your recovery. Good luck Let me know how you do.